By Blake Ellis, CNNMoney
New York (CNNMoney) - Student loan debt is leading some borrowers to put off buying a home, saving for retirement or even getting hitched - and many now regret taking out the loans in the first place.
About three-quarters of student loan borrowers surveyed said they - or their children - have been forced to make sacrifices in order to keep up with student loan payments, according to a survey from the American Institute of CPAs.Forty-one percent of the more than 200 people surveyed said they have delayed saving for retirement, 40% have put off buying cars, while 29% have postponed home purchases.
Even marriage has been put on hold, with 15% of respondents saying they delayed tying the knot because of student loan debt.
The majority of borrowers said they didn't anticipate having such a difficult time repaying their loans, and 60% feel some amount of regret about the decision to fund their education this way.
"[Graduates in debt] start out with an anchor that slows their progression toward future goals," Ernie Almonte, chair of the AICPA's National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, said in a statement.
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney
(CNN) - A survey out Tuesday found that 41% of college graduates from the last two years are stuck in jobs that don't require a degree.
The lack of job options in their chosen fields are weighing grads down, as nearly half of the recent graduates believe they would fare better in the job market if they'd pursued a different major.
Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they would need additional training in order to start their chosen career, with 42% saying they expect to go to graduate school. That's a sharp change in thinking from those still in school: A separate survey by Accenture found that only 18% of the class of 2013 expects to need graduate school.
It will likely be much higher, as job prospects are grim for the class of 2013. The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 7.6%, and recent graduates fare even worse, according to the Labor Department.
By Annalyn Kurtz, CNNMoney
New York (CNNMoney) - The class of 2013 will face an "extremely difficult" job market when college students graduate in the months ahead, according to a new research report.
Unemployment remains high for young college grads. For those who will find jobs, many will probably have to settle for low-level positions, the Economic Policy Institute said Wednesday.
The unemployment rate for recent college grads between the ages of 21 to 24 has averaged 8.8% over the last year, according to Labor Department data.
Once you also include young grads who are working part-time for economic reasons, and those who have stopped looking for a job in the last year, the so-called "underemployment rate" is a whopping 18.3%.
Sure, the job market has improved during the past few years. But both these rates remain higher than pre-recession levels.
By Emily Jane Fox, CNNMoney
New York (CNNMoney) - Susan Patton isn't about "leaning in" or "leaning back." She seems to be leading the discussion about women in a whole different direction.
In a letter titled "Advice for the young women of Princeton" published in the Daily Princetonian last week, the Ivy League alum said the path to happiness lies in their ability to land a husband during their four years at school.
"Find a husband on campus before you graduate," she wrote. The letter went viral, causing the college newspaper's site to crash.
Patton said that men have a broader time frame in which to build a home and a family. Women, on the other hand, have what she called a "shelf life."
"Unlike the men on campus, these women have a time clock," she said in an interview with CNNMoney. That's why she said she wouldn't give the same advice to her two sons, both of whom are Princetonians.
"Women who spend the first 10 years after college... career planning find themselves in their thirties a little panicked,' she said. "From a sheer numbers perspective, the odds will never be as good to be surrounded by all of these extraordinary men."
From the Marquee blog, CNN
(CNN)–George Lucas knows exactly what he's going to do with the payout from Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm, and it's not going to get funneled back into Hollywood.
Instead, the filmmaker said in a statement, the majority will go toward helping – and educating – others.
“For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company," he said. "As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy."
And, more specifically, to improving education, an effort he committed himself to back in 2010 by participating in The Giving Pledge. He explained in a letter dated July, 2010 that his belief in growing and developing young minds was the reason why he created the organizations Edutopia and the George Lucas Educational Foundation, the latter of which focuses on innovations in the field.
Now that he has a windfall from Lucasfilm – according to CNN Money, Disney is paying for the company with $2 billion in cash and around 40 million shares of its stock – Lucas plans to put the proceeds into his philanthropic passion.
“I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race," Lucas said in a statement. "We have to plan for our collective future—and the first step begins with social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children. As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt—as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.”
By Parija Kavilanz, CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Trade schools nationwide are bursting at the seams as demand for skilled factory workers pushes enrollment to record highs.
American manufacturers in certain sectors are enjoying a rebirth fueled by the return of overseas production back to the United States. As factories crank up, they have an urgent need for high-skilled workers such as machinists and tool-and-die makers knowledgeable in computers.
Trade school officials say manufacturing programs are experiencing an influx of students - young people starting out, mid-career workers who are retraining after a layoff, and incumbent factory workers.
Workers are drawn not only by the opportunity but also the pay: Starting salaries of $50,000 to $60,000 are not out of range for high-skilled talent.
But the surge in enrollment is posing unique challenges for schools, many of which are running at or beyond full capacity for the first time in decades.
School administrators are clamoring to hire more instructors and secure funding to buy additional equipment and add classes.
These infrastructure limitations, and the fact that it can take a year or more to train high-skilled factory workers, mean that the current labor shortage could persist for several years.
Unlike 20 years ago, manufacturing today requires workers who are computer literate and skilled in computer-aided design and engineering, said Sandra Krebsbach, executive director of the American Technical Education Association.Read the full story from CNNMoney
By Donna Rosato, @Money
(MONEY Magazine) - Raising three daughters born within a five-year span, the Fuccis knew they'd face steep tuition bills one day. But saving was tough.
The family lives in high-cost Westchester County, where their property taxes have tripled over the past decade.
For many years Stefanie worked part-time as a personal trainer. Now Kimberlee, 17, plans to go to James Madison University in Virginia this fall, where costs top $30,000 a year; high school sophomore Celine, 16, has pinned her hopes on going out of state too.
The Fuccis have already co-signed $14,000 worth of private loans to pay for 21-year-old Brittany to attend New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (she also has $14,000 in federal Stafford loans). Still, they are determined to let their kids go to their dream schools.
"Out of state goes against our plans, but it's the right fit for Kimberlee," says Stefanie.
How can this family afford to pay for college?
By James O'Toole, CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Always wanted to take a Harvard class? Soon you'll be able to do so from the comfort of your own home.
Harvard and MIT announced a partnership Wednesday to offer free online courses to students around the world. The initiative, known as edX, will be run by a non-profit organization controlled by the two schools. Each has committed $30 million to the effort.
The first official courses will be announced this summer and are set to begin in the fall.
EdX students won't receive university credit for the classes, which will span a variety of disciplines. There's no admissions process, but there are exams and other assessments, with certificates available "for a modest fee" to students who demonstrate mastery of the material.Read the full story from CNNMoney
By Anne Lee, CNNMoney
(MONEY Magazine) - Going back to school can be cheaper than you think, with a wealth of free online courses to choose from and an easy way to have your class work accredited. Saving for college can be easier too. We have three expert picks for the best 529 college savings plans.
If you just want to get smarter...
Search for thousands of free classes via the Open Courseware Consortium's website. If you want recommendations, Education-Portal.com will link you to some of the best free college courses, such as the 1,800-plus offered by M.I.T. and the arts and history at the U.K.'s Open University.
To get accreditation...
The $500 intro class at LearningCounts.org teaches you how to properly document a newly learned skill for college credit. For another $250, a professor will vouch that you've mastered the subject based on the body of submitted work; LearningCounts credits are accepted at dozens of colleges around the country.FULL STORY
By Jennifer Liberto @CNNMoney
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) - On July 1, the interest rates on student loans subsidized by Uncle Sam will double to 6.8%.
The upshot? Students taking out loans for the next school year will have to dig deeper in their pockets to pay them off. Unless Congress steps in to stop the increase from going forward.
The issue has become a political talking point. President Obama, who called for congressional action in his State of the Union speech in January, is using the issue to stump for votes.
His Republican rival Mitt Romney says he, too, believes Congress should step in.
What's at stake: More than 7 million undergraduates have subsidized student loans, which means the federal government absorbs some of the interest rate for lower- and middle-income families based on financial need.
If Congress does nothing, the cost to students borrowing the maximum $23,000 in subsidized loans is an extra $5,000 over a 10-year repayment period. The cost to the federal government to extend the lower interest rate is $5.8 billion, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.Read the full story from CNNMoney